June 6, 2017 7 am
Lovely, quiet morning. The air chilled, a slight breeze blowing. Scattered, puffy white clouds fill the sky.
I missed Fair Oaks Village and the chickens today. I rode my bike from home directly to the boat launch ramp. My morning melody is birds in trees chirping and twittering, combined with the distant buzz of motorcycles and humming cars crossing the Sunrise Blvd. bridge.
Canada geese and ducks are silent and still as they sit at the dry end of the boat ramp. Some ducks engaged in their morning clean up rituals. Sunrise is so early, the sun is well above the trees before I arrive. Pigeons wander the riverbank cooing and searching for nibbles. No people are here save a few boaters waiting on bites from shad.
Minutes later the geese and ducks wander up the boat launch ramp looking for breakfast. They approach me waiting for handouts.
I ride from the boat ramp to the narrow stretch of beach where the concrete bench is now upright. No waterfowl are here. It is far too deep and fast. I ride to the San Juan Rapids, my turnaround point on the American River Parkway bicycle trail. This is traditionally a favorite picnic spot for rafters. The water is deep and very swift. Now all visitors sit and watch.
Even Memorial Day weekend was a slow day. Sacramento Bee reported there were more Canada Geese than rafters because of the dangerous conditions.
First we had heavy winter rains that flooded the river. Now we have snowmelt running down from the high sierra.
The river here (and nearly everywhere along the 10-mile stretch I ride regularly) is higher and much wider than usual. The large rock outcroppings where we traditionally sit to enjoy getting our feet wet, picnicking, and scenic views, are all underwater.